Disaster relief committee to meet over funds for Hurricane Matthew victims

Disaster relief committee to meet over funds for Hurricane Matthew victims

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - House Speaker Tim Moore has reauthorized the state House Select Committee on Disaster Relief to address funding earmarked to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew.

Rep. Brenden Jones (R-Columbus) is a co-chair of the committee and represents Fair Bluff, one of the areas hardest hit by the October 2016 storm.

"The committee must continue to do everything we can to hold this administration accountable and get the victims of Hurricane Matthew the help they deserve," Jones said.

A series of reports by WBTV in Charlotte uncovered a delay in the state of North Carolina dispersing federal money designed to help Hurricane Matthew victims, and the state has also missed two self-imposed deadlines in the effort to help repair and replace hurricane-damaged homes.

According to a release sent by Moore's office, just one of the 22 counties impacted by the storm has received final approval to begin spending $236 million of federal community development block grants for disaster recovery (CDBG-DRs). Another three counties are expected to complete required paperwork in August, according to the division, and work is just now underway in the remaining 18 counties.

"It's getting to the point where I can't even express the frustration," Rep. Jones said during an interview Monday on WECT News Now. "Over and over and over we've asked the governor and his administration to give us some assistance. The frustration is coming because there's no reasoning, there's no explanation he refuses to help the folks of our district."

"As serious questions remain unanswered regarding the slow pace of the Cooper Administration's recovery effort, it's critical that we continue our committee's oversight to ensure folks get the help they need," said House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne), a co-chair of the committee.

Jamal Little, a spokesperson for Gov. Roy Cooper, issued the following statement: "Since Governor Cooper has entered office, more than $658 million has already been spent on Hurricane Matthew recovery, but we know more help is needed and it's on the way. Emergency Management has opened seven application centers where people can get help and people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Matthew to call 2-1-1 to apply for help."

Jones said he will sit down with Bell on Tuesday to put a timeline together for the committee to meet.

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